Press highlights exercise launched by armed forces to reclaim degraded lands, others

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) move to reclaim degraded lands in the country for food production and the projection that…

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) move to reclaim degraded lands in the country for food production and the projection that Ghana is on course to eliminate malaria hopefully by 2030 are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have launched an exercise to reclaim degraded lands in the country for food production.

The exercise will be carried out in areas that have suffered massive environmental degradation from illegal mining and lumbering.

Codenamed: “Operation Dimiter”, it forms part of efforts by the military to support the government’s Green Ghana initiative to protect the environment and ensure food security.

To kick-start the project, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Vice-Admiral Seth Amoama, led a team of officers and men from the GAF, as well as representatives of other stakeholders, to plant some 500 coconut seedlings on a four-acre land at the Air Force Base at Burma Camp in Accra.

According to Vice-Admiral Amoama, environmental degradation resulting from illegal mining and lumbering, including bush burning, called for concerted efforts by the military and relevant stakeholders to adopt strategies towards reclamation.

“Operation Dimiter will, therefore, see the various garrisons, particularly in areas where environmental devastation has occurred, undertaking reclamation of the degraded lands, which they will in turn convert into farmlands,” he added.

Vice-Admiral Amoama said apart from helping to enhance the greening of the environment, the exercise would also support food production and job creation.

The newspaper says that the Programme Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), Dr Keziah Malm, has lauded China for eliminating malaria from that country.

She said Ghana was also on course to eliminate the disease, hopefully by 2030.

Dr Malm, who was responding to questions posed by the Daily Graphic on how Ghana was faring at efforts to eliminate malaria from the country, said the NMCP was employing life-saving tools, such as indoor residual spraying, anti-malaria medicines, insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), as well as training and capacity-building of health workers, just as China did.

She said through the government’s interventions, the country would be successful in its eradication efforts.

Dr Malm, however, called for more mobilisation efforts to fill in funding gaps, saying a study by the programme had shown that Ghana could eliminate malaria from most parts of the country by 2030.

Following a 70-year effort, China has been awarded malaria-free certification by the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the world health body saying it was “a notable feat for a country that reported 30 million cases of the disease annually in the 1940s.”

In a statement, the WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “Today, we congratulate the people of China on ridding the country of malaria”.

“The success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal,” he added.

Daily Guide reports that the Minister for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has been invited by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve on its Mission 4.7 High-Level Advisory Group as an Honourary and Meritorious Member.

In the letter of invitation dated 23 June 2021 and co-signed by Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, President of the SDSN and Ms. Stefania Gianini, Assistant Secretary-General of UNESCO, it was revealed that the Mission 4.7 High-Level Advisory Group is a new global initiative to put into practice the bold vision articulated by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on education and Target 4.7.

“This invitation is only extended to those who have extraordinarily contributed to supporting target 4.7 and quality education globally. This membership enables you to still continue your engagement with Mission 4.7 as the new Minister of Energy for Ghana,” the letter said.

The letter concludes “…we would like to thank you for continued and remarkable leadership in education…”

Dr. Prempeh, who is also popularly known as ‘NAPO’ and is the MP for Manhyia South, served as the Minister for Education from 2017 to 2021 and was responsible for driving the NPP government’s flagship education policy, the Free SHS programme, which saw the student population of the country’s Senior High Schools jump from 800,000 in 2016 to over 1.2 million by the time he left office.

The newspaper says that American music legend, Steve Wonder has hinted of migrating to Ghana permanently.

He is seeking to move to Ghana to avoid what he considers systemic racial injustice in the US.

Mr Wonders has since the 1970s been speaking of his love for Ghana.

He revealed that President Nana Akufo-Addo “has allowed me to have some land” in Ghana.

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